Getting engaged is the easy part, however, saving money on your wedding is where many couples find themselves stuck. Whether your wedding budget is $1000 or $20,000, couples like you still wonder what cheap wedding venues are out there that will save them loads of money. Or what wedding venues are out there that cost significantly lower than most?
When planning a wedding, the one thing couples will notice is that the wedding venue is one of the largest expenses of a wedding budget. According to The Knot – Here’s How Much Couples Spend on the Wedding Reception Venue – a wedding venue sits in “50%” of the overall budget. So being able to cut the cost of the wedding venue is huge!
At the end of the day, a venue is the main foundation of a wedding. This is where guests will be celebrating the big day, dining the meals from the catering team, loving the stunning decor, and watching the couple’s first dance. It will forever mark the beginning moments of the couple’s life together and kickstart their memories as a married couple.
Affordable Wedding Venues to Get Married
Now that we have sorted the importance of a wedding venue, here are cheap wedding venues to help save money on the wedding budget.
1. At Home
There really are no cheaper wedding venues than the couple’s home. What makes a home a great option for a small wedding? It is free – nothing better for the budget! If there is space within the home, using it can truly make the day special. Start by setting up chairs in the living room, dining room, or in the backyard. Then, decorate the home in the style that you want.
The best part is that the couple does not have to worry about driving to an alternate location. However, the only downside is that the couple does not have a place to themselves for the entire day. There will be many people going through the home from the bathroom to the kitchen so remember to make sure to hide any valuables. Lastly, the music will have to be at a certain volume to avoid disturbing the neighbors.
Of course, if the couple’s home is not an option, ask a friend or family member if they mind hosting. Make sure that there is a gift in the works to show appreciation for allowing the wedding to proceed in their space.
Couples can’t go wrong by getting married at a courthouse. It is by far the most popular option out there as the courthouse is the main go-to place for a more affordable wedding ceremony. Depending on the city where they live and the courthouse being used, they typically allow around 5-10 people to accompany them.
This is a perfect spot if the couple wanted a more intimate setting. Some courthouses cost money but never the value of what a traditional venue would cost. On average, a couple could budget spending less than $100. However, each city, town, and country have different rules and prices therefore make sure to research ahead of time.
Having trouble cutting down the guest list? Having your marriage ceremony at the courthouse will help in that department. It will not only help to cut down the ceremony guest list but also allow the couple to save money in the process. Since the courthouse is a benefit for paying less for the wedding ceremony, the couple can focus their money on the reception celebration with the guests.
Read more: How to Save for Big Expenses
3. Backyard: The Ultimate Affordable Wedding Venue
Love the idea of a wedding at home? Then the idea of having a backyard wedding is something to think about. If the couple or a friend or family member has a large enough backyard to have the wedding and reception, it will help the wedding cost greatly. It is amazing what you can do to spruce up a backyard by simply scrolling on Pinterest for ideas and following the instructions from creative content creators.
Need a boost of inspiration right now? Here are 8 Affordable Stylish Wedding Centerpieces to put a creative touch on wedding decorations. If decorating or DIY projects are not a task worth trying, there is always the option to rent a company or asking a crafty friend to give the backyard a makeover.
What do you need to transform a backyard? It would be best to rent tables, chairs, and decor. An alternative option would be to get chair covers for existing chairs, or using fold-up chairs.
Remember to plan ahead because not all backyards are the same. Map out how many people the backyard can hold and don’t forget to include the reception and dance floor area.
Lastly, make sure to care for the yard by cutting the grass, and making sure that the leaves are picked up. Doing so will make the backyard look great on the wedding day.
4. A Public Park
Imagine a beautiful backdrop at the wedding and having nature as free decor. For couples who love the outdoors, consider having an outdoor wedding in a public park or even botanical gardens. This is a great idea for couples looking to get married in the summer or spring wedding season.
When planning an outdoor wedding, research if a permit is required ahead of time. Your local city hall will tell you what you need, such as rules and regulations for decorations as well as for the music noise level. Knowing this information ahead of time in order to avoid surprises
Remember that no matter what no one truly has control of a public park nor what happens there or even the noise level of others. Don’t let that be a discouragement, plenty of couples have made it work. Plus once the moment of exchanging vows begin, and all eyes are on the loved one, the rest of the world disappears.
5. Art Gallery
For couples who appreciate, or invest in art, an art gallery is a fantastic choice. Some couples choose art galleries because they desire something unique than the traditional wedding venue. Plus, there is nowhere else a couple can get decor like this, which makes this the perfect space to host a wedding.
Depending on the gallery, there really is not much that needs to be done to decorate the location when the interior is surrounded by all the hand-painted, and hand-sculpted art. Allow the vibrant colors of abstract art, photography, paintings, and 3D statement pieces to be the main wedding decor. Surround the guests with colors of amazing artists that make everyone feel like they are traveling within art pieces.
Now all the couple really needs to do is hire catering for food and dining essentials if they don’t have some already. Create a night to remember at the right price at an art gallery in your city.
6. New Places For Use As Cheap Wedding Venues
Newly opened venues are always looking for customers and clients to use their space. Search up new places that are opening up in your city. Sometimes couples get a huge deal on using new business compared to other more established locations.
Why? These new venues or even restaurants want business and desire opportunities that get potential customers to know about their location and service. In many cases, this provides the couple with an opportunity to ask if they will be willing to provide them with a discount.
Another way an engaged couple can score a deal with new wedding venues is if they offer to advertise their business in some way. Whether that is through a blog that they have started, sharing on social media, or by having a side table at the wedding where they can have their business cards or flyers, the wedding will be providing an opportunity to share their business.
Look for new venues or companies spaces in your city that are looking for attention. Don’t be shy to ask, because you never know what could happen.
Read more: How to Save $5000 This Year
7. A Boat
Want to set sail? Then consider having the wedding on a boat. The couple and guests can travel on the water with the wind blowing in their hair while they say I do with the city lights reflecting on the water in the background. Having the wedding on a rented boat is definitely a fun and unique way to escape the city without having to pack the bags.
Enjoy the benefit of having both the ceremony and reception in one location and removing the hassle of having family and friends drive to alternative locations. It saves time from having to move the guests around and also gives the couple the chance to have wedding photos done in the same space.
Take this idea even further by having the wedding on a cruise, not only will the couple have both a ceremony and reception area but it doubles as a honeymoon too. Remember to have some anti-nausea products for guests who may get a little seasick.
8. Schools or Colleges
Is there any high school or college sweethearts? Nothing brings a couple back then actually hosting the wedding at the school where they met. Walk down the halls that used to feel large and reminisce about the sweet memories of all the things they used to love doing. Scan through old photos on the walls and peek through the window of old classes that helped them become the person they are today.
Depending on the school, some offer space on their campuses such as sports fields, gyms, theatres, or dining halls for the couple to host their event at a significantly lower price than an average wedding venue.
Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley prices range from $100-1,000 and up. They are just a few to take note of from Martha Stewart’s 15 Beautiful College Campuses Where You Can Get Hitched. To find out more, ask the past attending school if it is possible to get married there.
9. Bed & Breakfast
For couples who are having a smaller wedding, they can think outside of the box and book a bed and breakfast. This is especially perfect for hosting their guests and wedding party under the same roof.
Additional benefits to having a wedding at a bed & breakfast:
- It is an all-in-one wedding venue from sleeping arrangements, dining, decor to catering.
- Get to have you and your guests together under one roof.
- It is an intimate location for the big day.
- Onsite catering.
- Many don’t offer site fees.
- Their wedding packages often include decor and catering.
Say I do in a flower-filled garden, and dance the night away under the cozy and charming bed and breakfast interior. This place will make all the guests feel at home as they celebrate the big day together.
To test out if a location is right for this occasion, choose a favorite and book a weekend away with friends. It is a great way to explore the bed and breakfast and relax at the same time. Plus, it would be a perfect time to give out bridesmaid proposal boxes to them.
10. Church, Chapel, or House of Worship
Any couples who want a more spiritual ceremony over marriage at city hall or elsewhere, look no further than a local church, chapel, or house of worship. Ask to see the requirements to get married at that location and find out if the wedding date of choice and time is available. It is better to do this sooner than later so that you can get ahead of other couples who are looking to use this location.
Here are some questions to ask a place of worship to get started:
- What is required for us to get married here?
- How long would the ceremony process be?
- Is there a dress code?
- Am I allowed to add decorations?
- Can we make our own vows?
Depending on the place of worship, a requirement may be that a couple needs to take a marriage counseling session or make a financial investment in order to use the space. Also, some places may have an additional space to use as a wedding venue, i.e. for a reception like an adjacent hall or event space.
In addition, brides should think about the type of wedding dress they want and ensure that they are choosing an affordable wedding dress that is appropriate for their place of worship as some may have stricter rules than others.
11. Community Centers
Community centers are not just for playing sports, working out, or going to the pool. This is a staple in the community which brings everyone recreational delight. It is also a destination with low rental fees where couples can book for their wedding as well.
These centers and civic buildings are a large enough space for guests to socialize and dine comfortably. Take advantage of the structured exterior of the historic building for stunning wedding photos or even use this location for engagement photos.
Since community centers are often near city hall, they are usually equipped for large gatherings, they will be able to provide a safe space to blast music loud without disturbing the neighborhood, alongside the essentials of tables and chairs. Many times, they are more than willing to point a couple in the direction of catering companies they have worked with before.
Another reason why local community centers make a great wedding venue is that it is an eco-friendly alternative to your wedding. Having a wedding here reduces having to drive long distances, as well as gives money towards the community.
Thinking about having a wedding at a barn or farm is not so unconventional anymore. These days, brides are embracing the rustic feel of the venue and the diy elegant barn wedding decor. Many couples think that all farms are old barns sitting in the middle of nowhere, and in many cases they are right. These days barns are further away from the city in a remote quiet location.
Since most barn locations are not full service, couples will need to think about getting essentials to run and host their wedding as well as commercial cleaning of the barn. Depending on where you live, a license or insured may be needed. Also, find out the rules of how loud the reception music can be.
When planning for a barn wedding here are a few things that a couple may need to rent:
- Backup tent for the ceremony
- Tables and Chairs
- Vendor and Catering tents
- Transportation to and from the parking area
- Portable restrooms
For wedding guests, be mindful of their seasonal allergies and if possible have a small stash of allergy medicine available if need be. Remember that weather conditions are unpredictable and seasons bring on their own unforeseen issues so have bug spray and umbrellas on sight and prepare ahead of time to allow any guests with disabilities to access the wedding location with ease.
13. Zoos and Aquariums
There is something that is so mesmerizing when we are surrounded by wildlife. Fish swimming behind as the couple does their vows or wedding photos by the giraffes is something that can’t be recreated at just any venue. Choosing a local zoo or aquarium as a wedding venue will make the guests’ jaws drop.
Couples find this unique style of venue a surprisingly more affordable choice. Plus the money goes towards the animals, the staff who take care of them and keeps the facility running strong.
As couples think about taking a walk down wild side for their I dos. Here are a few zoos around the world that are stunning for a wedding:
- Phoenix Zoo in Arizona
- The Calgary Zoo in Alberta Canada
- San Diego Zoo & Safari Park in California
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio
- The Los Angeles Zoo in California
- Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in South Carolina
- New England Aquarium in Massachusetts
- Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii
What’s amazing about these cheap wedding venues is that you could be dining next to a tank of sea creatures or snapping photos in a safari? The wedding guests will never forget a wedding like this!
14. An Airbnb or hotel rental
As much as we may want to have our wedding at home, due to space or other circumstances, that can’t always happen. Solution? Rent an Airbnb! These days couples can rent just about any location for an event. Why not see the most amazing Airbnb wedding venue options out there as a beach house (think: beach wedding), cabin, or even castle-style homes.
Things to remember when planning to use an Airbnb as a wedding venue:
- Search for places in your area
- Consider the cleaning and per night rental fees
- Ensure that the venue allows weddings
- Prices may change depending on the day of week or time of the year
- Additional costs may be applied for events such as weddings or additional parties
- Be mindful of check-in and checkout times
- May need to book within their minimum-stay requirement
Couples will love how private these venues can be. Say goodbye to navigating through and around customers. A couple can focus on their day and use the other bedrooms are spaces for their wedding party to get ready. When the night is done, the couple has a place to rest the night away.
15. In the street
Yes, engaged couples can have an outdoor wedding in the street. Of course, this is by no means a free price tag. Indeed, there are permits that are needed in order to block off the street for the wedding day. Couples can request one and get more information on the local government website or go down to city hall.
Imagine it now, filling the street block party style and getting a food truck for all the guests? Enjoy the sweet taste of a classic barbecue, drinks sitting on ice as everyone dances to the music with friends and family. This style of venue will be truly hitting the streets for this wedding.
Here is a list of things of what is needed to make this wedding happen on the street:
- Permit to close the street.
- Tables and chairs
- Permit for additional service trucks like food trucks and alcohol.
- Hire a band or DJ
Cheap Wedding Venues FAQ
How can I have a cheap wedding?
The most important thing to consider when planning a cheap wedding is to watch your costs. Consider all the expenses that will come up, and make sure to cut the budget as much as possible.
To wrap things up, as we went through the list of cheap places to get married, it is easy to say that couples can plan a wedding on a budget that is beautiful without spending loads of money. Regardless of the venue chosen, always ask questions. It is better to know ahead of time in order to have time to prepare.
I hope that these suggestions give couples a helping hand in finding an affordable wedding venue. Remember to enjoy the moment because it will be an amazing day filled with celebrations that will be remembered for a lifetime. Let me know in the comments below, which cheap wedding location would you consider for your wedding day?